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Sushma Swaraj to meet Pakistan foreign minister on sidelines of UNGA: MEA

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Sushma Swaraj

New Delhi, Sep 20: Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj will meet her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York next week, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday. 

Addressing a press conference,  Ministry of External Affairs, Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar confirmed about the meeting. He said ” I can confirm that on the request of the Pakistani side, a meeting between EAM and Pakistani foreign minister will take place on the sidelines of UNGA at a mutually convenient date and time”.

“This is just a meeting, not talks or resumption of dialogue”, he added.

On Kartarpur corridor, Kumar stated “Even now after so many yrs,we don’t have any official communication from Pakistani Govt that they’re willing to consider this matter. EAM will therefore raise this issue in her meeting with the Pak Foreign Minister on sidelines of UNGA”.

Next week, an informal meeting of SAARC foreign ministers is slated to be held in New York on the sidelines of the UNGA summit.

The development follows a letter written by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking for resumption of dialogue and suggesting a meeting between Sushma Swaraj and Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of UNGA, and a letter written by Qureshi to Swaraj.

Reacting to reports of brutality on a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan who was killed in Pakistan firing, he said it was a barbaric incident and the BSF has written a strong communication to its counterparts in Pakistan.

“It is a serious issue and we will take it up Pakistan.”

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RJD calls for Bihar ‘Bandh’ against farm Bills on Friday

Tejashwi himself uploaded a photograph on social media posing as a protester while driving a tractor on Thursday evening.

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Tejashwi Yadav

Patna, Sep 24 : Raising strong objections against the farm Bills, the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has called for a Bihar ‘Bandh’ on Friday.

Party leader Tejashwi Yadav has asked supporters to hit the roads in each of the 38 districts headquarters of Bihar and register strong protests against the Bills.

“The farmers of Bihar are already distraught. The agri Bills will make them completely helpless. These Bills will allow industrialists to take over the agriculture sector,” he said.

Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, he also said that if RJD supremo Lalu Yadav would shake hands with the BJP, he would be seen as “Raja Harishchandra” and the fodder scam or “Chara Ghotala” would be converted into “Bhaichaara” or brotherhood.

In Patna, supporters have been asked to assemble at the party office on Veerchand Patel Path followed by march towards Income Tax roundabout, Dak Banglow Chowk and return to the party office.

Party insiders believe it is a show of strength by the RJD.

Tejashwi himself uploaded a photograph on social media posing as a protester while driving a tractor on Thursday evening.

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India

Mira Nair, Chomsky Among Over 200 Signatories Demanding Umar Khalid’s Release

Umar Khalid has been arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in a case related to the communal violence in northeast Delhi in February this year.

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Umar Khalid

New Delhi: More than 200 educationists, filmmakers and authors, including Noam Chomsky and Mira Nair, issued a joint statement on Wednesday demanding the Centre free Umar Khalid arrested in connection with the northeast Delhi riots.

Besides Chomsky and Nair, the signatories include actor Ratna Pathak Shah, authors Amitav Ghosh, Salman Rushdie and Arundhati Roy, and journalist P Sainath.

“We call on the Government of India to free Umar Khalid and all those falsely implicated and unjustly incarcerated for protesting against the CAA-NRC that denies equal citizenship rights and to ensure that the Delhi Police investigates the Delhi riots with impartiality under the oath they took as public servants bound by the Constitution of India,” the statement read.

Khalid has been arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in a case related to the communal violence in northeast Delhi in February this year.

“We stand in solidarity and outrage, with the brave young scholar and activist Umar Khalid, arrested in New Delhi on September 14, 2020, under fabricated charges of engineering the Delhi riots in February 2020,” the statement said.

The statement said that Khalid “used the passion of his commitment to his country, marshalled his education and his voice to join the movement for equal citizenship, against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)” which introduced religion as a criterion for citizenship, and has no place in a secular nation.

The Delhi Police had on September 13 said it is investigating the role of all individuals who took part in the February riots and were behind the larger conspiracy of organising violence and inciting communal passion amongst communities.

Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava had last week said the force has collected documentary evidence, including scientific evidence, to support its case in connection with the riots.

He said that the police have so far arrested 1,571 people irrespective of their caste or religion and they are almost equally distributed among both communities.

Responding to former IPS officer Julio Ribeiro’s letter in which he had questioned the Delhi police’s investigation, Srivastava had said that there are several entities who have their reasons to weave a “web of deception” and push a “false narrative of bias and insensitivity” on the part of the police.

He said that police investigations in criminal cases are guided by facts and evidence, not by reputations and personalities.

“Delhi Police are serving the oath and the Constitution with conviction, integrity and sensitivity, without fear of any self-proclaimed “true patriots” or favour towards any class, creed or community,” Srivastava had said in an email reply to Ribeiro.

Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after violence between those supporting the citizenship law and those opposing it spiralled out of control, leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.

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India

Necessary To Ensure Stability Along LAC: MEA

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said disengagement of troops is a complex process which would require mutually agreed ‘reciprocal actions.’

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India China Galwan Valley

New Delhi: Two days after conducting military talks with China to resolve the border standoff in eastern Ladakh, India on Thursday said the way ahead will be to refrain from making any attempts to unilaterally change the status quo while the two sides continue discussions to achieve complete disengagement in all friction areas.

At a virtual media briefing, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said disengagement of troops is a complex process which would require mutually agreed “reciprocal actions”. “Even as two sides work towards complete disengagement in all friction areas, it is at the same time also necessary to ensure stability on the ground. The latest senior commanders’ meeting should be seen in this overall context,” he added.

India and China held the sixth round of Corps Commander-level talks on Monday following which both sides announced a series of decisions including to stop sending more troops to the frontline, refrain from unilaterally changing the situation on the ground and avoid taking any actions that may further complicate matters. Srivastava said the talks gave the senior commanders an opportunity to have “candid and in-depth” exchange of views on stabilising the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

“The way ahead will be to refrain from making any attempts to unilaterally change the status quo, while the two sides continue their discussions to achieve complete disengagement in all friction areas and to ensure full restoration of peace and tranquility in the border areas,” he said. The MEA spokesperson further said the next meeting under the framework of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on India-China border affairs is likely to take place soon.

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